Burial Ground (1981) Directed by Andrea Bianchi
The vacillating style of this sleazy, zombie nonsense exploitation flick levitates for most of its running time in an eternal limbo between trashy film ugliness and atmospheric b-movie beauty. Like its irresolute proceedings, I remained skeptical about its quality. Paradoxically, the film behaves like both a bad movie and a good one. However, after digesting its succulent gore feast – a nasty, voracious spectacle of viscera, and a carnivorous bloodbath of entrails – I’m more inclined to say that it’s a downright bad movie. The plot is a muddle, delightfully incoherent but not knowing exactly what to do with its anti-narrative components. A bunch of horny people stay at the villa of an anthropologist who studies an ancient crypt, the latter accidentally resurrects the dead, unleashing an abrasive zombie apocalypse. This Italian horror production, while laughable in its exploitative methodology, has a wonderfully disgusting use of practical makeup – the undead physiognomy is terrifyingly effective in its putrid appeal and gruesome decrepitude. Rumor has it that a large percentage of the budget was spent on special effects. Andrea Bianchi exploits these superficial attributes to the fullest by using a myriad of close-ups and extreme close-ups to exalt facial decomposition; in short, the film devotes its time to creating a sort of zombie parade. Everything else works half-heartedly, the *incestuous subplot is superfluous, and the softcore titillation is risible. It’s the kind of movie made with enough impudence to be relished for what it is, but even so, it doesn’t quite convince me. Even the least cohesive and incoherent stories need some degree of congruence in style, physically and metaphysically.
*Peter Bark is 25 years old in this film and awkwardly plays a weird kid who is sexually infatuated with his mother.